Paris Gray is a senior class vice president, a member of SADD and the Beta Club at a Mundy’s Mill High School in Clayton County, Ga, but a yearbook joke is preventing her from enjoying her senior year and could have her miss out on walking at graduation.

Gray’s yearbook message was “When the going gets tough just remember to Barium, Carbon, Potassium, Thorium, Astatine, Arsenic, Sulfur, Uranium, Phosphorus.”

Which means “Back that ass up”.

Gray received an in-school suspension and was kept from participating in a senior walk last Friday after yearbooks were distrubuted, all due to a quote she left near her portrait.

“I think their reaction was beyond what it should have been because nobody understood it,” said Paris Gray.

Gray also said  the message wasn’t flagged by any editors or adults.

“My first reaction was, you are such a nerd,” said Gray’s mother Zarinah Woods.

“Basically, it was me just saying start all over again,” said Gray. “You have to go back and start all over.”

Not only was Gray kept out of participating in the senior walk, she was also told she couldn’t give an inspirational speech during the graduation ceremony.

“It just completely destroyed me, and my mom’s been telling me don’t let it ruin my happiness but it’s like really taking a big toll,” said Gray.

A school district spokesperson says that no decision has been made and that the area superintendent and the principal would meet with Gray’s mother Tuesday morning.

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  • Anthony

    Too bad she is in a pickle because the very nature of her joke is an indication that she certainly learned something in school. I remember that when I was in seventh grade, I had to make up a sentence with a clause in it, and I said, “Secretariat, the Triple Crown winner, is retired and living on a stud farm in Kentucky.” The boys in class got a big kick out of it, especially since we had a young and attractive teacher, who was a total pro who ignored the sex angle. My point is, let kids be kids, and don’t freak out because there a bit of naughtiness in what they say.

  • Primmest Plum

    So, she can write an intelligent and witty joke that very few people would catch on to, get suspended and may be unable to walk across stage. But some white hooligans can drape an entire banner across the school roof using vocabulary that is barely a tenth of the capacity of this girl’s and get away with it. I know it’s not the same school but I think we can safely surmise that those short-sighted fools wet quietly forgiven.

    I don’t think the punishment fits the crime here. The yearbook editors should’ve caught on to this the instant it was submitted.

  • DreaMLC

    Kids have been doing the same thing she did for years, and getting the same punishment. When I graduated many moons ago, we were warned about being inappropriate prior to submitting yearbook quotes. She took a risk, it didn’t payoff how she would have wanted. Next time she might want to consider just writing “start all over again.” It’s less colorful, but no negative consequences. Lesson learned.

  • Mary Burrell

    She’s got brains. They did this to a young lady a couple of years ago for something similar to this. The system wants to punish the black youngster that are bright.

    • Anthony


  • Brad

    I just forwaded this story to my two older brothers because when I watched the news story they mentioned that she will be attending Tennessee State University(an HBCU) in the Fall.

    The university they both graduated from, my oldest brother said TSU would welcome her with open arms.